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Kaiser Permanente not pulling back on $400M Capitol Hill campus overhaul despite canceled headquarters project

Kaiser Permanente is working on a $400M overhaul of its Capitol Hill campus planned to finish by 2022 even after the company announced its pullback on a $900M Oakland headquarters project.

Not-for-profit healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente began the process of renovating its 15th and John Capitol Hill facilities about two years ago. The campus, formerly known as Group Health, was acquired by the company back in 2017.

CHS spoke with Kaiser Permanente in the fall of 2018 about its plans for remodel, centering around improving out-patient medical care while not expanding the size of the facility.

A statement for the project reads:

We’ll redesign the Kaiser Permanente campus within its existing footprint. Our goal is to update facilities to better serve our members and the greater community. Currently, more than half the square footage on the existing campus is 50+ years old. Redesign and/or replacement of existing buildings will improve convenience, more effectively utilize space, and support primary and specialty care.

Here are some things we’ll focus on:
• Updating to a highly accessible and efficient clinic care center
• Minimally disrupting services for our members
• Continuing to support the vital pedestrian corridor on 15th Avenue
• Creating communal spaces for both members and the community
• Infrastructure improvements that lead to a more sustainable facility
• Expand specialty care services
• Utilize technology to deliver personalized care

When asked how the project timeline is being affected by COVID-19 restrictions, KP Western Washington spokesperson Linnae Riesen told CHS over email: “We are constantly evaluating our care, services, and facilities to improve affordability and quality. We’re in the process of making timeline determinations based on what best serves our members and community.”

According to Riesen, there have been no updates to the project since the company’s January announcement of new facilities being launched across Washington. Riesen said that “there is no affiliation” between the Capitol Hill campus renovation and the Oakland headquarters project that the company pulled back on due to financial challenges.

The company issued the following statement earlier this year regarding its decision to back out of the construction of a new Oakland headquarters building:

Delays and increasing costs related to this project caused us to re-examine the feasibility and focus on renovating our current buildings. The decision is not related to COVID-19. Kaiser Permanente appreciates the hard work by the developer and its team on the 2100 Telegraph Avenue project. We wish them well with the project and look forward to welcoming new neighbors to downtown Oakland when it’s completed.

National representatives for the company were not available for comment.

If the Kaiser Permanente work breaks ground, it could be part of a busy period of construction along 15th Ave in coming years. CHS reported on plans last week for a new seven-story mixed-use development and grocery store moving forward to replace the Safeway and its large surface parking lot at 15th and John.


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2 thoughts on “Kaiser Permanente not pulling back on $400M Capitol Hill campus overhaul despite canceled headquarters project

  1. I like the idea of updating, but “including the community” in the design makes me feel like it’s going to end up more Cal Anderson, giant X’s and purely conceptual, than graceful like Volunteer Park. I hope I’m wrong.

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